A Week In Pittsburgh, PA, On A $175,000 Income

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
Today: a in-house landman working in oil & gas who makes $175,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on beef jerky.
Occupation: In-House Landman
Industry: Oil & Gas
Age: 30
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Income: $102,000 base salary, $20,000 bonus, $53,000 stock that vests over three years
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $6,237
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,070 for a two-bedroom apartment that I live in alone
Student Loan Payment: $1,347 (I have $40,000 left that I want to pay off in the next year.)
Health Insurance: $130
Retirement: $765 (9% of my gross pay), plus 6% company match
Utilities: $260
Car Payment: $0 (paid off!)
Car Insurance: $0 (My parents pay.)
Cell Phone: My work and parents pay.
Netflix & MoviePass: $20
Gym: $25

Day One

7:45 a.m. — I had a pretty low-key night last night, so I'm up early on a Sunday. I will myself to sleep in, but it's not happening this morning, so I decide to be productive. I food prep for the week, including shrimp for tacos, corn salsa, and tuna macaroni salad (which is actually as horrible as it sounds). I do a 45-minute at-home leg and glutes workout and eat a shrimp taco when I'm done. My entire to-do list for the day is accomplished by 11, so I treat myself to a mani/pedi. $70
1:30 p.m. — One of my friends invites me to lunch, so even though I'm not particularly hungry, I join and get fried brussels and two glasses of Pinot Grigio ($35). We have a great time catching up and decide to go on a sweaty walk around my apartment complex when we get back. $35
5 p.m. — Cookout at my neighbor's house. I bring chicken thighs I buy in bulk from Costco and she makes roasted potatoes and zucchini. It's the perfect summer meal. I head home at around 9 and chat with my friend who is temporarily staying with me. Her apartment has serious mold issues so she's in my apartment for about five weeks before her new apartment opens up. She's paying me in cooking and cleaning, which has been amazing! I go to bed at around 10.
Daily Total: $105

Day Two

6:30 a.m. — I wake up tired. Right before I went to bed last night, a “friend” told me she spotted my ex out on a date. Even though I was the one who initiated the breakup, and I know it's for the best, it stills hurt to find out. I get ready while listening to the The Daily and head into the office. It's a slow start because my work BFF just got back from a week-long Hawaiian vacation and we need to catch up.
9:30 a.m. — Finish my large tumbler of ice water and head to the kitchen to make my half of an English muffin with peanut butter and a banana. I've eaten this breakfast for approximately a year and I'm still obsessed.
11:45 a.m. — My work BFF and I generally go to the gym during lunch, but we decide to go to Aladdin's, our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant, to catch up. I get a chicken shawarma wrap and the most amazing vegetable soup ($15). We stop at Starbucks afterwards and I try to get a Mocha Light Frappuccino, but apparently they don't do light anymore? I just get a tall Mocha Frap and it's so sweet. My work BFF pays. $15
3:30 p.m. — The afternoon is flying by as I'm catching up with my boss and working on an interesting genealogical issue. I refill my tumbler and plan my workout for when I get home. I normally just search on Pinterest, but sometimes I use Jessica Smith's YouTube videos — they're nice, short, and sweet.
4:30 p.m. — Time to head home! My commute is a little under 30 minutes, and I listen to Dax Shepard's podcast Armchair Expert — it's my current favorite. I stop at the wine store on my way home and pick up a couple of bottles ($16). Once I get home, I decide to do a 40-minute upper body workout while watching Scandal with my temporary roommate. $16
6:30 p.m. — I heat up the shrimp tacos I prepped on Sunday with corn salsa and steal a couple peanut butter M&Ms from my temporary roommate. My sister is getting engaged in two weeks, so I talk with her boyfriend's sister about finalizing plans for the engagement party we're throwing.
9:30 p.m. — Head to bed after watching an episode of Teen Mom.
Daily Total: $31

Day Three

5:30 a.m. — My temporary roommate is horrible about snoozing her alarm. She snoozes at least five times between 5:30 a.m. and 6, and the wall between our rooms is very thin. But I know she is going through a lot and I'm genuinely enjoying her company, so I choose not to let it piss me off. I'm really lucky that I can fall back asleep easily, so I do that until my alarm goes off at 6:40. I listen to The Daily while I get ready and pack my gym bag.
7:30 a.m. — I arrive at work and start to go through my emails. Summertime in my industry is pretty slow, but I've had consistent projects to work on throughout the summer. I eat a banana at my desk. I also chat with my sister's boyfriend's sister and book the venue for the engagement party ($88). I'm covering the cost since I'm not going to be able to contribute much else because I have my best friend's baby shower that day, too. I also order iron-on paper for the baby shower to make onesies as a craft ($15). $103
10 a.m. — Eat half of an English muffin with whipped peanut butter.
11:30 a.m. — I head to the gym with my work BFF. She's doing the Stairmaster, which I am definitely not in good enough shape to do for 40 minutes, so I walk on the treadmill on an incline for 15, elliptical for 15, and 15 minutes of abs. I manage to get nice and sweaty. After rinsing off, I come back to the office to enjoy my leftovers from the cookout on Sunday night. They are delicious!
3:30 p.m. — I'm feeling a little peckish so I head to the kitchen for Popchips. My fave BBQ flavor is behind a regular flavor in the vending machine, so I buy both and put the boring plain ones in my desk for a desperate day. $1
4:30 p.m. — Head home for the day. Three of my friends are coming over for dinner, so I clean up my apartment, finish laundry from last night, and prep veggies for my lunches for the rest of the week. I'm not cooking tonight, so my friend comes over and makes the most amazing Thai chicken stir fry with zucchini noodles. YUM! After a couple glasses of wine, my friend convinces me to go to a farm-to-table dinner on Sunday night with her. We pay in advance. $75
Daily Total: $179

Day Four

3:30 a.m. — I'm up and choosing again to not get pissed at my temporary roommate for the snoozing. She stayed up for most of the night working on her project that's due today and took a little nap from 2 to 3:30 a.m. I quickly fall back asleep.
6:30 a.m. — Up for the day. Chug two huge glasses of ice water while I'm getting ready listening to the NPR Politics Podcast.
9:30 a.m. — I forgot my fruit at home (I usually have an apple or banana), so I splurge on a whole English muffin with whipped peanut butter. The morning goes by quickly as my boss and I have a meeting out of the office. In the waiting room of the law firm we're meeting at, my boss spills half of his coffee all over himself and the floor. I literally can't look at him without crying laughing.
11:30 a.m. — Gym time! My work BFF puts me through an intense back and ab 50-minute workout. I'm really sweating by the end! I head back to work and eat my lunch — a Mediterranean salad mix from Costco minus the feta plus roasted sweet potatoes and rotisserie chicken. It's okay, but I probably wouldn't buy the salad mix again.
3:15 p.m. — Feeling weird this afternoon. Maybe because it's cold in the office, but it feels like one of those winter days where all you want to do is go home and put on sweats and curl up on the couch with comfort food, even though it's summertime. Cancel my plans for happy hour and decide to head out a little early.
4:30 p.m. — Stop at the gas station near my house to fill up and grab sparkling water ($50). Head home, take a shower, and immediately start feeling more like myself. Cook up some more shrimp to have a shrimp taco with the leftover corn salsa and make a quick guac with just avocado, lemon juice, and garlic salt. I have a phone call with my friend's husband I'm helping with some legal work, and then I'm chatting with my mom and my sister's boyfriend's sister to hammer out some of the details for the engagement party. I really enjoy being in service to others, but I feel like I may be spreading myself too thin. $50
8:30 p.m. — Eat half a bag of popcorn while watching the new Real Housewives of Orange County. Head to bed around 10.
Daily Total: $50

Day Five

6:30 a.m. — Up before my alarm. My temporary roommate is finished with her assignment, so she's sleeping in. Wake up feeling really refreshed and ready for the day. Get ready while drinking ice water and listening to The Daily.
7:30 a.m. — Get to the office and go through my emails. A colleague/friend referred me for a job and the partner wants to have a preliminary phone interview this afternoon. I eat my banana at my desk and then head to the kitchen for more water and half an English muffin with whipped peanut butter. There are a bunch of fresh cucumbers that someone brought in (the area I work in is pretty rural) so I decide to cut one up to eat as well.
10 a.m. — My boss is throwing a lot of big long-term projects on me that I don't think have a ton of use. But he's the boss, so I get working!
11:30 a.m. — Leg day, a.k.a. the worst day, at the gym. My work BFF puts together a crazy workout and I break my cardinal rule to never do hip thrusts in public. I leave the gym feeling amazing and starving. Get back to the office and heat up chicken and sweet potatoes to put on my salad with balsamic.
2:15 p.m. — I run to the courthouse to file documents, but there's a huge accident on the highway, so I decide to go another day. I stop at a gas station on my way back and pick up some beef jerky for work snacks throughout the week. $15
4:30 p.m. — Stop by my roommate's old apartment, pack up my car with some of her things, and drive over to a happy hour with colleagues that I referred some work to. They are a fun group of guys and I have three Jim Beam and Diet Cokes. They pay. My work BFF comes with me to drop of my roommate's things at her new apartment and we split the rest of the shrimp tacos and have the corn salsa with tortilla chips. We may have had another drink while chatting. I get in bed around 9:30 and I'm out!
Daily Total: $15

Day Six

6:45 a.m. — I'm not going to say I'm hungover, but I'm definitely not not hungover. Take a quick shower and get ready listening to The Daily.
7:30 a.m. — Get into the office, check emails, and eat my half an English muffin with whipped peanut butter (seriously never gets old) and a small container of raspberries with Splenda. I really wish I didn't have to put sugar on tart fruit, but I can't stand it without it. There was a ruling in a big case that could have huge implications for my company, so my boss and I start running the numbers to see what our liability is. I'm a lawyer who loves math, so I really enjoy these data analysis projects.
11 a.m. — Head to my OB/GYN for my annual exam. It's weird/sad to think of what a different place I'm in now compared to where I was a year ago. I was in a two-year relationship and we were living together and contemplating getting married and having kids, and now I'm by myself. I'm definitely happy and doing the right thing, but I'm sad the relationship didn't work out.
11:45 a.m. — After my appointment, I have a phone interview with the firm that I was referred to. The attorney is extremely kind, but basically tells me that I'm going to have a hard time getting hired unless my VP signs off of me leaving. The firms don't want to “poach” talent from the client. It makes complete sense. I just have to determine if the job change is something I'm ready to do. Moving to a firm would be a huge life change – I currently work very nice hours (7:30 to 4:30) and have a lot of corporate perks, but I also don't feel incredibly fulfilled. It's just something to think about. I walk around the parking lot of the doctor's office for the 35 minutes I'm on the phone, which I'm definitely counting as my workout for the day.
12:30 p.m. — Back at the office and I heat up a chicken parm Lean Cuisine. It honestly tastes pretty good even though I really try to avoid processed foods. They changed the menu for the farm-to-table dinner on Sunday and it's disappointing compared to what we thought. Luckily, we're still able to cancel, so my friend Venmos me back for her half.
4:30 p.m. — Head home for the day. Stop on my way for more wine for the weekend ($35). I eat leftover rotisserie chicken and broccoli and chat with my roommate before a few friends come over. We have a glass of wine at my apartment before heading to a brewery down the street. I buy a round for the group ($35). There are so many cute puppies here! A group of guys who are approximately 19 years old sit down next to us with a pizza, and we decide to head back to my apartment to order one for ourselves. I go to bed around 11 while all my friends are still in my living room. $70
Daily Total: $70

Day Seven

8 a.m. — I'm up early and have so much Orange Is the New Black to watch! I watch three episodes before meeting up with a friend to train for the alumni soccer game we're playing in next month. We go to a local school and run drills and kick the ball around. I am so out of shape compared to how I was in high school!
1 p.m. — Drive over to a friend's house who is leaving for vacation. Her dad loves moonshine and found a new place that does tastings. We go to some sort of beer/liquor tasting every other month or so together. This place is really lame, it's basically just a store front and they don't give you any background about how it's made or anything. I don't really drink at all but buy a couple of mini bottles to be nice. $12
2 p.m. — As I'm leaving, I stop at the place next door for sushi because I'm starving ($11). OMG, it's horrible. So vinegary and looks like a five-year-old cut it. I'm so disappointed. I bring it to my roommate's new apartment where a couple friends are over helping her unpack. My friends agree the sushi is not the best, but eat it anyway. While I'm there, my friend who is having a party later asks me to pick up a birthday cake. I'm kind of annoyed, but decide to use it as an excuse to do my grocery shopping. I pick up stuff to make turkey burgers and veggie couscous salads for lunch this week, as well as other essentials ($55). $66
5:30 p.m. — Head over to my neighbor's for a Shark Week-themed BBQ. Food is great, but I am beat from my workout earlier. I head home at around 8 and watch more OITNB before bed.
Daily Total: $78
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